Nick Green, through no immediate fault of his own, is at best a long shot to make the Red Sox roster out of spring training. He is an infielder on a team trying to decide between Jed Lowrie and Julio Lugo at shortstop and the reigning MVP at second base.
The logjam in front of him, though, does not detract from his impressive spring training. Green, after blasting a monster home run to center field, finished today with 11 hits, tied with Jeff Bailey for the team lead, and a .478 batting average. Manager Terry Francona raved about his arm strength, which enables him to play second base, shortstop, and third base.
Green, 30, has compiled a .240 batting average while playing in 275 games with five teams since his major league debut in 2004. He spent last year, his first season without a big league appearance since 2003, with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the New York Yankees Triple A affiliate. The Red Sox signed him in January to a minor league contract.
He arrived here as an afterthought, but with playing time available with Dustin Pedroia playing in the World Baseball Classic, Green has taken advantage of his opportunity to audition for not only the Red Sox, but also the rest of the league.
“It is great to get a good opportunity to show that I can play, and that if they need me, I can be an asset to the team,” Green said. “I think it’s great, as far I’ve got to be able play different positions, run the bases, the little things you have to do.”
“He’s had a real good camp so far,” manager Terry Francona said. “He may be one of those types of guys where we may not have a spot. But when you come in and show what you can do, you certainly put yourself in a good light.”
Green began his career as a shortstop but moved primarily to second base “because nobody could teach me how to throw right,” he said. “I could get it over there, but I wasn’t consistent.”
In 2006, in spring training with Tampa Bay, Green worked with former Red Sox manager Jimy Williams. Williams explained to Green he was taking the ball out of his glove wrong – his elbow stuck out like a chicken wing. Green began taking the ball out of his glove while keeping his elbow close to his midsection, and his inaccuracy disappeared.
Williams “helped me with my throwing,” Green said. “It was great for me to have him in camp. Ever since I started working with him, I’m more comfortable and confident.”